African Trails Guide Course

South Africa, Botswana

African Trails Guide Course

The majority of time on this twenty eight day FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) Trails Guide course will be spent enjoying bush walks in big game country.  You will, on foot, explore the wilderness of the majestic Makuleke concession in the famed Kruger National Park or Mashatu Reserve in the (Northern Tuli – Botswana).

The majority of time on this twenty eight day FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) Trails Guide course will be spent enjoying bush walks in big game country.  You will, on foot, explore the wilderness of the majestic Makuleke concession in the famed Kruger National Park or Mashatu Reserve in the (Northern Tuli – Botswana).

Your situational awareness, wildlife knowledge and appreciation of the environment will increase exponentially as this course is conducted in a wilder, different area which provides a truly authentic experience as a Field guide.  This all whether you are working towards a career guide qualification or just attending for learning and self-satisfaction.  Walking in this area is very rewarding and special as the 24  000 ha Makuleke concession hosts 75% of the Greater Kruger National Park’s biodiversity.

Our wilderness camp is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty known as the Land of Giants; there are majestic rocks, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds, diverse vegetation and a very rich archaeological heritage.

NB : If a FGASA back-up qualification is what you are actually after, before coming on the course, you will have to attain the full FGASA Field Guide qualification.

The course is open to anyone who wants experience or opportunities to improve personal skills and walk in a wilderness area;  the course content is the same for everyone, regardless of existing qualifications.   Skills gained on this course can be used anywhere.

Some subjects covered on the course :

• Planning of Game Drives and Walks
• Navigation and Orientation
• Radio Procedures
• Ecology
• Reptiles
• Geology and Soil
• Amphibians
• Fish
• Mammals
• Weather and Climate
• Animal Behavior
• Plant Communities
• Career Opportunities
• Plant Identification and Uses
• Identification and Ecology of Invertebrates

 

Field conditions

Accommodation
The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.

Meals
Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal)
Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)

Languages: English

Age: 18+, driver’s licence, able-bodied, able to walk at least 2km

The Makuleke Conservancy is a 24000 ha private concession in the north of the Kruger National Park. Located between the Limpopo River in the north and the Luvuvhu River in the south, it has large alluvial flood plains and central African vegetation, but also sandveld and a huge amount of plant and animal species. It is a gathering space for elephants from Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as those that reside in Kruger. There are many hippos and crocs in the Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers and as there is thick bush around, leopards happily hunt the nyala and impala near the rivers. Makuleke also hosts eland and grysbok whilst the birdlife is prolific.

Karongwe Private Game Reserve lies east of the Drakensberg Mountains in the Province of Limpopo and is an 8 500 ha area of South African bushveld; an untamed garden of eden – pure wilderness. The ‘Big Five’ flourish here, but there are also many other species such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, wild dog, cheetah, two hyena species, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and many, many antelope along with monkeys and baboons. Birdlife is proficient and the waters contain otters along with the normal hippo and crocodile. Rocky outcrops stand out within the reserve’s undulating terrain.

The Selati Reserve hosts over 50 species of mammals and is known for it’s large numbers of sable antelope. Species biodiversity is enhanced by elephant, black rhino and lion but it also hosts leopard, cheetah and the odd wild dog, amongst many others. Selati has a vibrant bird population due to the varied habitat; there are mopane woodlands and rare cycads in this undulating area. As with most other reserves in the general area there are many species of reptiles from monitor lizards to crocodile and snakes.

Our Vic Falls camp nestles along the Masuwe River a tributary of the great Zambezi River, in this 6000 acre conservancy, pristine wilderness. It is home to the Big 5 but also to the endangered Black Rhino. The savanna is full of wildlife and apart from the big 5 including giraffe, zebra and many of the antelope species, including Sable. There are both teak forests and savannah grasslands drawing hundreds of species of birds to it’s banks.

Our camp near Hoedspruit in South Africa, means that the property falls within the Greater Kruger National Park (GKNP), in total an area of over 2,000,000 ha of wild reserve, unfenced and with free movement of wildlife. It is an ex buffalo hunting farm that was incorporated into GKNP some years back and allowed to rehabilitate. Wild species that were absent for some time have now returned due to the dropping of all game fences.

Course Rates

2018 Rate per person [28 days]
ZAR 50 500 (no VAT payable)

2019 Rate per person [28 days]
To be confirmed

Rate includes :

  • Accommodation (sharing)
  • Meals
  • Tea / Coffee / Cordials
  • Instruction and Training
  • Game Walks
  • All FGASA fees (exam, assessments and workbooks)
  • Open vehicle game drives

Rate excludes :

  • Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
  • Any accommodation before and after the course
    Beverages (beer, ciders, bottled water)
  • Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at Makuleke Camp)
  • Border crossing fee (only applicable if the course is at Mashatu Camp)
  • Sleep outs/ additional activities 
  • In unforeseen circumstances, rates (for unpaid bookings) and venues are subject to change without notice

Course Dates

Arrival for any of the below courses is 14h00 on the first day, with departure at 9h00 on the last day.

2018 dates
2019 dates

23 June – 20 July (Makuleke) T
To be confirmed

15 July – 11 August (Mashatu) 

 

What’s Included

Accommodation (sharing)
Meals
Tea/coffee and cordials
Instruction and training
Game walks
Open vehicle game drives
Sleep outs/ additional activities

 

What’s not Included

Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
Any accommodation before and after the course
Beverages (beer, ciders, bottled water)
Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at Makuleke Camp)
All FGASA fees (exam, assessments and workbooks)
Border crossing fee (only applicable if the course is at Mashatu Camp)

Back-up Trails Guide/ ARH Certificate and FGASA Back-up Trails Guide/ ARH Qualification

If you want to attain the FGASA Trails Guide back-up qualification as well as the Advanced Rifle Handling (ARH) qualification presented on this course, you must:

• Have a full FGASA Field Guide Level 1 qualification (inclusive of a First Aid qualification)

• Have an accredited PFTC (Professional Firearm Trainers Council) accredited Rifle Proficiency certificate before you arrive on course (www.pftc.co.za ). If you need further information on PFTC, please ask for our full PFTC information document.

• Have paid all your FGASA fees (current membership fees and exam fee)

• Be prepared to undergo the FGASA ARH qualification. Please note we offer limited training as part of the course, hence any rifle training you can do beforehand, will go a long way in giving you confidence with a rifle.

Course information will be sent to you from our enquiries department. Please request a booking and should availability allow, a registration/ booking email will be sent to you from our enquiries department. These forms need to be completed, signed and returned to us (by email) within 7 days.

A 40% deposit payment is immediately due to confirm your booking, with the balance payable 4 weeks prior to the start of your course. Proof of payment must be emailed to us. Our admin department will confirm your booking by email.
Quoted rates are valid for 30 days from date of enquiry. Subject to change after 30 days

Invoices will be issued on request only.

The responsibility remains with the traveller to ensure they are fully aware of the most current immigration laws and visa requirements of the country/ countries they intend visiting. We cannot assist in this regard. Please will you contact your preferred travel professional for further advice.

Further information will follow from our admin and support departments.

African Trails Guide Course

Explore the wilderness of the majestic Makuleke concession in the famed Kruger National Park or Mashatu Reserve in the Northern Tuli – Botswana.

Linking People & Conservation

The African Conservation Foundation is an award-winning charity focused on protecting Africa's endangered wildlife and their habitats. We build local capacity for long term sustainability of projects.

© 2018 African Conservation Foundation

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